On the question of the color yellow....
SunnyBorders, on the Mammoth mums thread, raised the issue of why yellow is often not a favorite color in the garden. I have pondered on that issue many times, since I'm one of those people who do not consider yellow a favorite color in the garden.
Yet I have a very large patch of yellow in a prominent place in the garden - the house!
My issues with yellow in the garden boil down to these:
- first and foremost is that I associate yellow foliage with unhealthy plants - e.g. deficiencies of various sorts or plants stressed by insects, fungus, too much or too little water etc. - so that has tended to make yellow/yellow-green foliage and yellow variegations seem unattractive to me. When you think of it, yellow is also associated with disease in people too - think jaundice and liver diseases....
- the second issue is that I find 'yellow' flowers often come in rather harsh colors - either an acid-yellow or opaque, muddy golds, that don't fit easily in the continuum from soft yellow to orange, so they often seem like a brash intruder that draws attention to itself and doesn't care about fitting in! :-)
Back in 2009 I had an 'epiphany' moment re yellow in the garden during a visit to a garden on the local garden tour. The front garden clearly had a blue and yellow theme going. There was one very striking yellow combination - which I've posted here many times before I think. I loved that combination but was also struck by the fact that the garden would have, IMO, been much more attractive if the largest part of the rest of the yellow-foliaged/variegated plants has been grouped near each other rather that being spotted around fairly randomly amongst the blues. I have been itching to make a yellow garden ever since seeing that garden, and this combination in particular:
I posted pictures last summer of the 'golden path' I've started to develop under the pines in the backyard. It's too shady there to use a yellow peony but the yellow theme there will, I think, work out well - assuming things survive this dreadful winter!
But all that still doesn't make me inclined to add yellow in sunny front part of the garden, although I have been adding oranges in a continuum from pale peachy colors to rusty oranges and reds. The big dollop of yellow that is the house is, I think, a big inhibiting factor as any yellow would need to be compatible with that and I just don't think that blocks of yellow or gold would compete harmoniously with the house color. I have tried several yellow flowers in the past (yellow hollyhocks and yellow scabiosa) but removed them after the first year. So now the yellow in the front garden is largely limited to anthers in the flowers!
Your thoughts on yellow...? How do you use it in the garden?